Zwierzynski Schedules Official Visit to PSU

He has several offers from top D1 schools, and is very interested in the Nittany Lions. PSU covets his excellent combination of size and speed.

Name: J.R. Zwierzynski
Position: RB
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 225 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.5
Bench Press: 290 pounds
School: Joliet Catholic Academy, Joliet, Illinois (currently 6-1)
Offers: Northwestern, Illinois, Texas A&M, Penn State, Iowa, Wisconsin and Boston College

J.R. Zwierzynski plays RB for Joliet Catholic, and has helped lead them to a 7-1 record.  They are currently ranked 25th in the country by USA Today.  At the moment, J.R. plays on offense only, at the running back position.

"I've got a thousand yards," J.R. said.  "I probably average around 15 [carries per game]."

He has also played LB in the past for Joliet.

"Sometimes I play LB.  I played it a little bit last year, but I haven't had to play it this year yet.  I played it growing up.  I played it during my freshman year, and then I didn't really play it during my sophomore and junior year [very much].  I think I might play LB later in the season.

"I like defense.  I grew up playing defense, and then when I got to my sophomore year in high school, I started playing running back on offense more.  I like them both.  Defense is pretty nice.  I might be getting back to that in college.  I'm not sure yet.  It depends on which school I go to as far as which position I will play."

According to J.R., Northwestern, Illinois, Texas A&M, Iowa and Wisconsin are recruiting him as a RB.  Penn State is recruiting him as a LB.  He is not sure for which position Boston College is recruiting him.

J.R.'s teammate, TE/DE Mike Kolodziej, is being recruited by several of the same schools that are recruiting J.R..  The 2 of them talk occasionally about attending the same college.

"Sometimes, but not really.  I'm not basing my decision, and he's not basing his decision, on where each other goes."

Some other schools recruiting J.R. include Notre Dame, Michigan, Michigan State, Miami, Florida, Alabama and Nebraska.  He lists Penn State and Northwestern as recruiting him the hardest.

His current favorites include Boston College, Notre Dame, Michigan and Penn State.  Notre Dame and Michigan have not yet offered.  If they did offer, that could put those 2 at the top of J.R.'s list.

"Yeah, maybe.  I haven't really made that much contact with them.  I get a bunch of letters from Notre Dame, but I really haven't talked to them face-to-face yet.  It's a good academic school.  It would be really good to get a degree from there.  I get some letters from Michigan too.  I don't know [if a ND or Michigan offer would vault them ahead of his other 2 favorites].  I'd have to take my officials.  Notre Dame and Michigan are both good schools.  Michigan's business school is really good I think.  And, they're closer to home.  Michigan's a pretty big school.  Notre Dame is just a good academic school.  [Location] is not a big deal, but it could have some effect.

"Penn State has a good tradition for linebackers.  They're a good academic school too.  They're not doing good this year, but I figure they've been so good for so many years, it's not like they're going to be down for that long.  A girl in my school (Sam Tortorello) is going there for volleyball and she said it's a really nice campus.  Boston College is a good academic school.  People compare it to Notre Dame, the Notre Dame of the east coast, so I might want to check them out too."

J.R. has visited a few schools unofficially.

"Unofficially, I've been to Purdue, Iowa, Notre Dame, Illinois, I think that's it.  I've got a brother that goes to Iowa, so I've been on campus there."

His brother does not seem to be recruiting J.R. to attend Iowa.  J.R. will probably not make his final decision until after all of his 5 official visits are completed, although he did not rule out the possibility of an early commitment.

"I doubt it.  Anything's possible though.  If I go to a school that I really like, then maybe I'll commit right there, but who knows."

J.R. is more than willing to redshirt.  He has not yet taken a long look at school's depth charts.

"Usually when a coach calls, he'll inform me, so I haven't really [studied] rosters or anything like that."

He plans to major in business.  He is a terrific student, having earned a 4.3 GPA.  He has also scored 22 on the ACT.

During the conversation, J.R. took another call, which lasted nearly 10 minutes.

"That was a Penn State coach,"  he said upon returning.

Jay Paterno? 

"I don't think so.  I think it was the other guy."


"Yeah (sounding somewhat unsure)."

Was he the linebacker coach? 


Anything interesting?

"Yeah, I kind of made an official visit.  I just set one up.  He was checking back with me.  I was thinking about it before, but I wanted to talk it over with my parents before I said anything."

J.R. will visit Penn State on December 7th.

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